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Friday, October 25 2013

The Trouble with Fandom and ‘The Elizabethans’

A.N Wilson's The Elizabethans is a very readable history, despite the author's inability to get out of his own way.


Friday, August 1 2014

‘The Kill Team’: When is War Murder?

What The Kill Team goes on to do is utterly unnerving: it draws connections between the poised interviewee and the soldier in country, between one young man's different times and places, his stories and his circumstances.


‘Get On Up’: James Brown Imagined

"You see where this thing is going" from the first frames of Get On Up. But you also wish you didn't; you wish that it would have been smarter, more nuanced, and less fantastic.


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Has Lots of Boys and “The Girl”

Gamora's role as The Girl is key to the appealing formula of Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie that delivers to expectations like nobody's business.


‘OlliOlli’ Is the Purest Embodiment of Skate Culture in a Game

OlliOlli doesn't care about conforming, it doesn't care about its peers, and it doesn't care what you think of it. All it cares about is landing that trick.


Nona Hendryx: 7 July 2014 - New York

Nona Hendryx got unplugged and honored her classic soul group Labelle during her second sold-out engagement of 2014 at Joe's Pub.


‘Slander’ Airs Out the Dirty Laundry of the Genteel ‘50’s

Slander hasn't dated much at all; it still engages the viewer with something harsh and sordid under its veneer of '50s gentility.


Beth Orton: Central Reservation: Revisited

Central Reservation was one of the best albums released in the past 20 years, and although the bonus material gives some new insight, the power of the original remains as potent as ever.


Bleachers: Strange Desire

The fun. guitarist steps out on his own, and the result proves that Nate Ruess isn't the only guy in his other band that can write a stadium-sized hook.


On the Relationship Between the Scribe and the Scoundrel

Robert Spoo's Without Copyrights takes you through the winding and dimly-lit alleyways of professional courtesies and the narrow passageways of intellectual property.


R. Kelly: The Essential R. Kelly

Subtlety was never R. Kelly's strong suit, which is both his greatest gift and his greatest curse.


Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abime

The alto saxophonist and composer returns with his large band and his “spectral harmony” approach, this time expanded upon with electronic effects.


Thursday, July 31 2014

‘Literary Miniatures’ Reveals Souls of Giants

This collection of remarkable interviews with some of the world’s greatest writers is as creative and beautiful as the works it analyzes.


Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ Interprets the Bible With Intensity

The film retells the story of Noah's Ark filtered through Aronofsky's intensity, rather than the pageantry of the faith-movie industry.


Common: Nobody’s Smiling

The veteran Chicago rapper returns to his troubled hometown on a conscious album for a post-conscious age.


Alvvays: Alvvays

Alvvays is an exciting opening album from a band who bring refinement to a genre that make them sound mature beyond their years.


‘Romany and Tom’, Ben Watt’s Second Memoir, Is a Quiet, Reflective Tale

Watt, best known as a musician, DJ, and one-half of pop duo Everything But the Girl, takes a second foray into memoir with Romany and Tom.


Jim Lauderdale: I’m a Song

A fine, fine record which could do with a little more pep down the stretch, or a slightly stronger editing hand.


Phox: Phox

Epiphanies emerge and fade and come back again. The tempo stays steady and deliberate even when individual players pick up speed when adding baroque touches to the composition; an aural rendition of an optical illusion.


Luther Dickinson: Rock ‘n Roll Blues

By not glossing over the rough patches in a life spent pursuing a childhood dream, Dickinson provides a grounded perspective and lack of hubris on Rock 'n Roll Blues.


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